What Are Some of the Long-Term Benefits of Homeschooling?

By Zan Tyler


The phone rang early one Monday morning in January. I was already at my desk, writing and working. “Too early to be a telemarketer,” I thought. So I glanced at the caller ID on my phone and saw that it was my son Ty.

As a medical device salesman, Ty rises early and is on the road in the wee hours of the morning, traveling to various hospitals in his territory. I cherish these calls from Ty when he is traveling, as it is an unhurried time to chat, fellowship, and catch up on his life and his family’s life.

I picked up the phone and immediately sensed the urgency in his voice: “Mom, have you talked to Papa this morning?” (Papa is my 90-year-old father, whom we all love dearly.)

“No, Honey, I haven’t. What’s wrong?”

Ty continued: “He called me early this morning. He has hurt his back and can hardly move because the pain is so severe. He asked me which doctor he should see and if I could get him an appointment as soon as possible. I’m working on it now and I’ll call you as soon as I have worked something out. Meanwhile you might want to go check on him. He didn’t want to bother you this early in the morning.”

Wow. I hung up the phone, and as I reflected on this call, there was so much to marvel at on so many levels.      (more…)

Freedom From The Four Walls


By Jennifer Smeltser

I never in my life planned to homeschool. When I first learned about homeschooling, which was years before I was married and had children, it sounded like some type of weird and extremist way of raising kids. Coming from a traditional public school background, I knew that was the route I would take, when, and, if I had children. My elementary school years were some of the best, and I believe it is during that time a seed was planted that would later lead me to welcome the challenge, and the opportunity, to homeschool.

It was my sixth grade year and my teacher, “Hoff,” took school outdoors one day. He placed us all under a tree, opened a book, and began to read. I felt rebellious, because school belonged inside a classroom, but I listened. I felt relaxed, but remained engaged. I was not sitting at a desk surrounded by four walls, but I was outside, under a tree, enjoying God’s surroundings—and I was learning,

Even before that moment, I had always enjoyed being outdoors. Without discounting the value of learning at home with family as we do, I also realize we are not limited to learning only at home. There is so much to learn outside of our four walls. Learning could be as close as walking out to your backyard or as far as traveling the world. I must admit that it is my nature (pardon the pun) to be outdoors.

Fortunately, my children have adopted my perspective on learning wherever we are and have been willing participants as we learn together.      (more…)

It’s Time to Wake Up!


By Deborah Wuehler

I was taking a nap when I heard some noise in the hallway, so I got up to investigate. My eyes were blurry, my head heavy with sleep, but I kept looking around trying to find that noise. I suddenly realized it had been my own snoring I was hearing and that I was not awake but still asleep! I dreamt that I went back to bed until I heard the children talking. I pushed the covers aside and got up and talked to the children until I heard that familiar snore. Once again, I was not truly awake.

This happened several more times in my dream until my daughter came into the room to (truly) wake me. I was exuberant to discover that I was actually and fully awake! Not that my dream was terrible, but the feeling of never being actually awake or asleep was a heavy, horrible feeling. I have had that feeling in real life too, especially on days like today.

I am going through the everyday motions of homeschooling (thank God for a schedule that keeps us all on task) but feel groggy in my teaching, sleepy in the presentation, and just plain wiped out. Some days, like today, I feel like I will never wake up to the reality of full-life living and learning. I keep trying to wake up but keep going back to bed hoping that next time, maybe tomorrow, I will wake up where reality is better than this dream-like state.

It is a season of plain old tiredness that comes because of a lack of sleep, an over-committed schedule, a change of seasons, or a change of hormones. Whatever the reason, we sometimes need help—we need someone’s hand upon us to wake us.      (more…)